DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The last three outs are always the toughest to get. The King University softball team learned that on Friday afternoon, but the eight-seeded Tornado persevered to earn their first NCAA Tournament victory in program history. The Tornado defeated fifth seed Queens University 4-2 in 10 innings, setting the school record for wins in the process.
FINAL SCORE: No. 8 King 4, No. 5 Queens 2 (F/10)
LOCATION: Haines and Carolyn Hill Stadium; Dahlonega, Ga.
RECORDS: King 35-21; Queens 36-17
TIME OF GAME: 2:27
King Starting Lineup
1. Katie McCann – CF
2. Hannah Riddle – RF
3. Kay Brokering – 1B
4. Jenna Burnett – 3B
5. Katelyn Davidson – C
6. Erin Roper – LF
7. Summer Hayes – SS
8. Candace Maness – 2B
9. Kaycee Casteel – DP
Starting Pitcher: RHP Leslie Odom
Queens Starting Lineup
1. Sara Ingoldsby – DP
2. Breanna Martinez – 3B
3. Elaina Frantellizzi – CF
4. Evie Scott
5. Abby Lathan – SS
6. Alyssa Strickler – LF
7. Gemma Miller – 2B
8. Courtney Pearson – P
9. Cierra Robinson – RF
Starting Pitcher: RHP Courtney Pearson
- Davidson had two hits on the day, the biggest came in the 10th, giving King the lead with a single to left field.
- Burnett also had two hits and drove in one.
- Brokering, Maness and Casteel all added two hits apiece.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Odom was lights out early, retiring the first 14 batters she face before giving up a two-out single in the fifth.
- She didn't allow a runner to second base until a leadoff double in the seventh inning.
- Pearson was nearly as impressive, but the Tornado offense registered hits in the second, third and fourth innings.
- The Tornado finally broke through in sixth as McCann reached on an error to start the frame. A Brokering single put two runners on before Burnett ripped a single to left, scoring McCann and giving King the 1-0 lead.
- The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh when Frantellizzi started the frame with a double.
- Queens later had runners on the corners with two outs, and a double steal scored the tying run, sending the game to extra innings.
- The Tornado had runners on first and second in the eighth and ninth, but couldn't score.
- On the defensive side, Odom was still strong, only allowing one base runner through the first two extra frames.
- King broke through in the 10th as Brokering was hit by a pitch and Burnett followed with a single.
- Davidson then came up with a big hit, scoring Brokering to give King the 2-1 lead.
- An error scored another run and the Tornado took a 4-1 lead following a Maness sacrifice fly.
- The Royals didn't go down easy again, scoring a run on a Robinson triple.
- However, Odom got the last out, giving King the 4-2 win.
FOR THE FOES
- Ingoldsby led Queens with two hits on the day while Frantellizzi and Brooke Sanford each scored runs.
Winning Pitcher: Leslie Odom (18-9) 10.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 12 SO
Losing Pitcher: Ali Celiberti (5-3) 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The win gives King their first NCAA Tournament win in just their second appearance.
- King also set the school record with their 35th victory of the season. The Tornado last won 34 games in 2012 when they advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
- Odom struck out 12 batters, marking a season-high. It's also her second double digit strikeout game of the season.
- King takes on fourth seed Coker College in another elimination game on Friday evening.
- Queens is eliminated.